Inconsistency was the order of the day for the Boilermakers today, but they found a way to win it at home and move to 4-3 in the Big Ten.
After a dreadful, sub-40-points (total!) first half, the Boilers came out with a bit more effort in the second half, pulling out to an 11 point lead late in the game (45-34, I believe). However, they showed the inability to close that we've seen on and off from this squad all season, and Iowa came all the way back, even taking a lead in the final minutes. The Boilers were able to tie it at 54 and Iowa missed their last possession of the second half and this one dragged its way into overtime.
The crowd seemed to come to life in OT and the Boilers also seemed to play with a renewed passion in the extra frame, ultimately working their way to a victory.
B-dowd reported a very disappointing Paint Crew showing today, which is pretty inexcusable. We've griped about this before, but if you're at Purdue right now, you have precious few years remaining where you have this kind of entertainment at your fingertips, not to mention opportunity to support your school. Take advantage of it -- walk the mile or less and support your fellow students out there representing you.
|Just some old-fashioned, Big Ten basketball...|
Today's game was a brickfight, with the Boilers holding a 19-16 advantage (if you can call it that) at the half. Early on, it looked as though AJ Hammons might have been able to have his way with the Hawkeyes today, but for some reason the team stopped tossing the ball to him. Perhaps late in the game it was because he was in foul trouble, I don't know... and on that subject, he did wind up fouling out of the game with just seven points, though he did grab ten rebounds.
The Johnson brothers led the Boilers on the scoreboard with 32 combined (Terone with 17, Ronnie with 15) and Terone made his a double-double as he snagged a dozen boards as well. Also of note, Terone and Ronnie had one turnover combined (and that one was Terone's). Donnie Hale had 12 points off the bench and DJ Byrd also got into double-figures with ten points.
The Boilers followed the formula we've talked about before -- they outshot their opponent, as Iowa was ice cold much of the game, 39% to 31%; they outrebounded the Hawkeyes 43-36; and they turned the ball over less (10-7). FT shooting was below average for the Boilers, as they hit only 60%, but Iowa's 70% wasn't quite enough to hurt the Boilers, as the Hawkeyes missed some critical FTs in OT.
We've talked before about how we feel as though Fran has this Iowa team heading in the right direction, and tonight was another example -- they almost took a challenging road victory in the conference. However, for Purdue to have any hopes of a decent ending to this season, home games are where they need to lock down their wins. And nothing against Iowa, but this is a "winnable game," when you look at the schedule. Not a lock by any stretch (what game is, really?), but a game that you have to have if you want to think about any form of postseason play.
Next up for the Boilers -- and perhaps their focus and that of the Paint Crew is already on this one -- are the Hoosiers coming into town on Wednesday night.